Monday, 15 July 2019

Interview with filmmaker Stjepan Ostoic Papic

Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival will be screening Antofagasta New York

*How did you get into making films? 
Going from art to art. I started writing tales and short novels, but I sucked -or I guess so-. Then, I became an actor, but I wasn't very happy with it, either. Being an actor requires a state of mind that not everybody has -and I definitely don't have it. So, years later, I mixed my love for writing, my fascination with films and my experience in theatre into filmmaking, and here I am since 2009. 

*What inspired you to make your movie? 
It is basically inspired in true events, so the process was unique in some way. The first draft of the film included the events as I reminded -or felt-, and then I rewrote and rewrote until it became the weird Dramedy you can watch today. Actors were chosen for each character according to how I knew them, I didn't do any castings. I think castings are very awkward. Instead, we rehearse for about two weeks before the shooting. It was a beautiful team process. 

*How has your style evolved? 
I think I'm finally leaving the stupid pretentiousness that film schools install in your head. I don't need a freaking dolly to tell a story or tons of lights and makeup to create unforgettable characters. It sounds pretty obvious, but it isn't when you are in film school. I would say that I evolved from trying to be a perfect filmmaker to be a storyteller that accepts that films are also the mistakes you watch in the finished film. 

*Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
I remember when we were shooting in front of a Brooklyn building and a guy came out of it yelling at us. He was very aggressive, even when he wasn't the owner or manager of the place. When we explained we were doing a low budget film, he kept yelling and we had to move. It was the last scene of the day, so the sun was going away. We finally shot the scene two blocks from there, but it totally feels like the same place. I should probably thank the angry guy for the new location, but I won't. Asshole. 

*The Misrule Film Movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
A search for honesty and real passion on filmmaking, away from pretentious intellectual goals or superficial digital worlds. I think it's a way to show that filmmaking shouldn't be beautiful and extraordinary to be important but the opposite of that. 

*What can we expect from your next film? 
It won't have the "innocent" tone that "Antofagasta, New York" sometimes has. It will be angrier and darker, because we are cursing the only world we have. That doesn't mean that the film won't have humour; I think humour is essential, but the focus of the film will be somewhere else. Come on, we humans deserve to feel bad about everything we've done to Earth. Just face it.